Published on 02 August 2023
The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has proposed several amendments to the Child Development Co-Savings Act (CDCA), to increase support to parents in managing work and child-caring commitments and to encourage greater shared parental responsibility. The proposed amendments are part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to strengthen support for Singaporeans, who wish to have children and raise a family.
At Budget 2023, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Lawrence Wong had announced enhancements to the Marriage and Parenthood support measures, which include the doubling of Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) and Unpaid Infant Care Leave (UICL) from 1 January 2024. The CDCA amendments proposed by MSF will enable the implementation of these measures. Other initiatives introduced at Budget 2023 include increasing the Baby Bonus Cash Gift by $3,000 and enhancing Government co-matching contributions to the Child Development Account, for eligible children born on or after 14 February 2023. Parents will receive the enhanced Baby Bonus benefits from 1 August 2023 (see Annex A for details).
Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) and Government-Paid Paternity Benefit (GPPB): The Bill seeks to introduce enhancements to the GPPL and GPPB schemes, from 1 January 2024. GPPL will be doubled from two weeks to four weeks on a voluntary basis, where employers who are ready to grant the additional GPPL to their employees will be reimbursed by the Government. The GPPB, for fathers who are ineligible for GPPL due to their employment arrangements, will also be increased correspondingly. These enhancements aim to support fathers to be more involved in child-raising and encourage shared parental responsibilities.
The additional two-week provision will apply to eligible fathers whose child’s date of birth, estimated date of delivery, or formal intent to adopt falls on or after 1 January 2024.
Unpaid Infant Care Leave (UICL): The Bill proposes to increase the UICL by six days per parent per year, in the child’s first two years, for those with children aged under two. This will apply to eligible parents who have a child below two years of age on or after 1 January 2024. Amendments to the Bill will ensure that employers grant all eligible parents of Singaporean children this additional time off if they have worked for their employers for a continuous period of at least three months.
Other amendments: The Bill also seeks to amend the CDCA to better improve operational clarity and efficiency, such as clarifying the conditions for the disbursement of relevant benefits1. These amendments will allow for greater accountability of Government monies as more benefits are extended.